Rock Love

Rocks speak to me. They always have. Mountains are majestic, the sky is magnificent, the ocean is marvelous—but rocks—well, they rock.

Even as a five-year-old, I was fascinated by rocks. I would pick them up and carry them around the yard and my mother would shout, “Put that rock down. You’re going to hurt yourself. When you drop it on your toe, don’t come crying to me.”

And I didn’t. I carried the rocks around rearranging them and when one slipped out of my hands and hit my foot—which invariably happened—I never went crying to my mother. I sat in the corner of the yard cradling my foot and whimpering until my toe finally quit hurting. Then I would find another rock that needed relocation.

As a child, I built rock mansions for roly-poly bugs and furnished them with grass and jar lids full of water. I seem to remember my mother remarking to my grandmother, “That’s odd, Maybelle. I’m sure this jar had a lid.”

As an adult, I learned to build rock steps, rock walls, and rock siding around houses. To build with rocks, one must first have rocks. I spent countless blissful hours collecting rocks from local ranches and filling the pickup truck up with them until it settled down on the back wheels and the front end was light driving home. Rocks speak to me.

Once I found a huge rock along the side of the road. I was driving the car, not the truck. I stood the rock up on end at the back of the car and wrestled it into the trunk. When I got home with the rock, it took my son and two of his teenage friends to lift the rock out of the trunk. In the tussle, the trunk lock got bent, but I had to take that rock home with me. It hollered at me as I was driving past.

Why this passion for rocks? I can’t explain it. Nor can I explain why as an unchurched child who didn’t own a Bible and didn’t even understand the lyrics to Christmas songs like “Silent Night,” my favorite Psalm was Psalm 27: “In the time of trouble He shall hide me…He shall set me high upon a rock, and now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies.”

“The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let God be exalted, the Rock of my salvation.” 2 Samuel 22:47.

Physical rocks have sometimes failed me. They have strained my back and arm muscles, dropped on my feet, smashed my fingers, proved to be a hiding place for scorpions that sting when disturbed. But the Rock of my salvation has never failed me.

God is The Rock. He made rocks. The rocks speak to me. Stephanie Parker McKean: books, biography, latest update